History, poetry, terrorism - Swansea experts in the spotlight at Hay Festival

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Whether it’s award-winning poetry and song, debating the most important place in Welsh history, or discussing literature, protest and terrorism, authors from the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University will be in the spotlight at this year’s Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts.

The Festival, now in its 26th year, runs from 23 May to 2 June.  It has famously been described by US President Bill Clinton as “the Woodstock of the mind”.   It brings together international writers and thinkers, film-makers, historians and novelists, philosophers, environmentalists, poets and scientists.

Events featuring experts from the College of Arts and Humanities:

Huw BowenMartin JohnesA Place in Welsh History:  Professor Huw Bowen (left) and Dr Martin Johnes, both from the Department of History and Classics) will join other leading historians, including Assembly Member Leighton Andrews, to consider what are the most important places in Welsh history.  Taking place on Saturday 25 May at 4pm in Google’s Big Tent, the historians will make their pitches to the audience who will decide what deserves first place – castles or coastlines, pit heads or pubs, ruins or rugby clubs.


Fflur  DafyddPoetry and Song -  award-winning fiction writer and singer-songwriter, Dr Fflur Dafydd (Department of English Language and Literature) will join her mother,  internationally-renowned poet Menna Elfyn, on Saturday 1 June, 8.30pm, Landmarc 100 Stage. Fflur and Menna will deliver an evening of poetry and song to celebrate the launch of Menna’s bilingual collection "Murmur" and Fflur’s first English-language EP, "You Found Me Out".  

Dr Dafydd has also been selected as Hay’s International Fellow for 2013-14, and will be visiting other Hay festivals as a guest writer over the next year.



Dai Smith110 x 165 Fictions – Stranger than Truth  - Professor Dai Smith (left), Raymond Williams Chair in Cultural History at Swansea, and author Robert Hudson, talk to author Jon Gower on Saturday 1 June, 10am, Digital Stage.  Prof Smith’s "Dream On" is a black comedy/noir thriller meshing lives and legends of South Wales.

Memories of Revolution  - Professor of German, Julian Preece (right), and Welsh author Chris Keil will be in conversation with Gwen Davies on Sunday 2 June, 4pm.  Preece’s book "Baader Meinhof And The Novel" explores forty years of myths about the German Autumn.


Seating arrangements - cover

Dylan Thomas Prize logo





Swansea University will also host a tea party at Hay for invited guests to mark the new partnership between Swansea University and the Dylan Thomas Prize, one of the most prestigious international prizes for young writers.  

Maggie Shipstead, author of "Seating Arrangements" and winner of the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize, will be present at the event where the judging panel for the 2013 Prize will be announced and friends of the Prize and University will provide short readings.

Professor John Spurr, head of the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University, said:

'The Hay Festival offers a showcase for the breadth of talent at Swansea University. Our poets, historians, musicians and novelists work around the world and across Wales: they come to Hay to share their passions with a discriminating audience and to launch the 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize."